In an unexpected turn of events, Starlink has terminated its services in Zimbabwe after being instructed to do so by the country’s regulatory body, the Postal & Telecommunications Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ).

Despite not being officially available in Zimbabwe, many individuals in the country were utilizing Starlink’s services through regional and global roaming capabilities. However, POTRAZ recently initiated a crackdown on unauthorized usage of Starlink, citing violations of the Postal and Telecommunications Act. Several offenders have already faced legal action.

The decision to shut down Starlink operations in Zimbabwe comes as a surprise, especially considering previous statements by POTRAZ’s Director-General Dr. Gift Machengete, indicating no intention to restrict the satellite internet provider owned by Elon Musk.

Starlink has communicated with affected customers, informing them of POTRAZ’s directive and expressing a commitment to cooperate with regulatory authorities to obtain the necessary approvals for operating in Zimbabwe. Customers have been given the option to pause service and billing or to use the service in countries where it is authorized.

The development marks a significant setback for Zimbabwean users relying on Starlink’s services and underscores the complexities of regulatory compliance in the telecommunications sector.